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Preview: The Official Google Blog

The Official Google Blog



Insights from Googlers into our products, technology, and the Google culture.



Last Build Date: Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:45:00 +0000

 



The High Five: sun’s out, man buns outThe High Five: sun’s out, man buns outManaging Editor

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:45:00 +0000

Winter and summer. George and Amal. Barbie and Ken. These classic duos were among the top searches from this week.

Changing of the seasons

This Wednesday was summer solstice in the northern hemisphere—which means in other parts of the world, winter is coming. The cities searching the most for “first day of summer” are in Southern California (don’t they have good weather all year?), while New Zealanders are searching the most for “first day of winter.” And around the world, people are searching 3,200 percent more for summer than winter.

Is it hot out here, or is it just me?

For some, summer was a little too much this week. It was so hot in Phoenix, AZ that planes couldn’t take off safely, prompting searches like “too hot to fly in Phoenix, “Phoenix airport delays,” and “Phoenix high temperature today.” Other U.S. cities that were searching most for weather: New Orleans, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York.

Bambinos and amigos     

George and Amal Clooney welcomed twins earlier this month, but this week people were more interested in George’s other big news: the sale of his tequila company, Casamigos. Top-searched questions included, “Where can I buy Casamigos tequila?” “How much is a bottle of Casamigos tequila?” and “Who bought George Clooney’s tequila?” In fact, search interest in tequila shot 350 percent higher than vodka.

Meat lovers are ticked off

Doctors are reporting that bites from the so-called Lone Star Tick can cause red meat allergies. But is it real? How can people avoid it? And why is it called the Lone Star Tick? These are the questions people are curious about. Most people searching for the lone star tick (named for a star-shaped mark on its back) aren’t actually in the Lone Star state—the top states searching were Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, Arkansas and Maryland.

Ken gets a makeover

This week, Mattel unveiled a new cast of Ken dolls, the biggest revamp since 1961. These new Kens come in different shapes and sizes, including “broad” and “slim” body types, leading searchers to look for “dad bod Ken doll” and “diverse ken dolls.” But in the end it wasn’t Ken’s new bod that had people searching—it was his hairstyle. One new Ken is sporting a highly-contested accessory from the past few years: the man bun. The internet couldn’t resist satirizing man bun Ken’s personality, fitness habits and political leanings, and search interest in "man bun ken" spiked 300 percent higher than “dad bod Ken.”

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(image) Check out what’s trending on Google with a look at a few of the top searches from the week of June 19.


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Libraries across the U.S. are Ready to CodeLibraries across the U.S. are Ready to CodeDirector

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Editor’s Note: Alan Inouye leads public policy for the American Library Association, and today he tells us about a new partnership with Google that will equip librarians to offer coding programs for kids in their communities Emily Zorea is not a computer scientist. She’s a Youth Services Librarian at the Brewer Public Library in Richland Center, Wisconsin, but when she noticed that local students were showing an interest in computer science (CS), she started a coding program at the library. Though she didn’t have a CS background, she understood that coding, collaboration and creativity were  critical skills for students to approach complex problems and improve the world around them. Because of Emily’s work, the Brewer Public Library is now Ready to Code. At the American Library Association, we want to give librarians like Emily the opportunity to teach these skills, which is why we are thrilled to partner with Google on thae next phase of the Libraries Ready to Code initiative—a $500,000 sponsorship from Google to develop a coding toolkit and make critical skills more accessible for students across 120,000 libraries in the U.S.Libraries will receive funding, consulting expertise, and operational support from Google to pilot a CS education toolkit that equips any librarian with the ability to implement a CS education program for kids. The resources aren’t meant to transform librarians into expert programmers but will support them with the knowledge and skills to do what they do best: empower youth to learn, create, problem solve, and develop the confidence and future skills to succeed in their future careers. “It always amazes me how interested both parents and kids are in coding, and how excited they become when they learn they can create media on their own--all by using code.” - Emily Zorea, Youth Services Librarian, Brewer Public Library For libraries, by librariesLibrarians and staff know what works best for their communities, so we will rely on them to help us develop the toolkit. This summer a cohort of libraries will receive coding resources, like CS First, a free video-based coding club that doesn’t require CS knowledge, to help them facilitate CS programs. Then we’ll gather feedback from the cohort so that we can build a toolkit that is useful and informative for other libraries who want to be Ready to Code. The cohort will also  establish a community of schools and libraries who value coding, and will use their knowledge and expertise to help that community.Critical thinking skills for the futureThough every student who studies code won’t become an engineer, critical thinking skills are essential in all career paths. That is why Libraries Ready to Code also emphasizes computational thinking, a basic set of problem-solving skills, in addition to code, that is at the heart of connecting the libraries’ mission of fostering critical thinking with computer science.Many of our library educators, like Jason Gonzales, a technology specialist at the Muskogee Public Library, already have exemplary programs that combine computer science and computational thinking. His community is located about 50 miles outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma, so the need for new programming was crucial, given that most youth are not able to travel to the city to pursue their interests. When students expressed an overwhelming interest in video game design, he knew what the focus of a new summer coding camp would be. Long-term, he hopes students will learn more digital literacy skills so they are comfortable interacting with technology, and applying it to other challenges now and in the future. “Ready to Code means having the resources available so that if someone is interested in coding or wants to expl[...]


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As G Suite gains traction in the enterprise, G Suite’s Gmail and consumer Gmail to more closely alignAs G Suite gains traction in the enterprise, G Suite’s Gmail and consumer Gmail to more closely alignSVP, Google Cloud

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Google’s G Suite business is gaining enormous traction among enterprise users. G Suite usage has more than doubled in the past year among large business customers. Today, there are more than 3 million paying companies that use G Suite.   

G Suite’s Gmail is already not used as input for ads personalization, and Google has decided to follow suit later this year in our free consumer Gmail service. Consumer Gmail content will not be used or scanned for any ads personalization after this change. This decision brings Gmail ads in line with how we personalize ads for other Google products. Ads shown are based on users’ settings. Users can change those settings at any time, including disabling ads personalization. G Suite will continue to be ad free.

The value of Gmail is tremendous, both for G Suite users and for users of our free consumer Gmail service. Gmail is the world’s preeminent email provider with more than 1.2 billion users. No other email service protects its users from spam, hacking, and phishing as successfully as Gmail. By indicating possible email responses, Gmail features like Smart Reply make emailing easier, faster and more efficient. Gmail add-ons will enable features like payments and invoicing directly within Gmail, further revolutionizing what can be accomplished in email.

G Suite customers and free consumer Gmail users can remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount as we continue to innovate. As ever, users can control the information they share with Google at myaccount.google.com.

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Celebrating businesses giving back this RamadanCelebrating businesses giving back this RamadanVP of Marketing

Fri, 23 Jun 2017 07:15:00 +0000

In the heart of Istanbul, where I was born and raised, is the Hagia Sophia, a breathtakingly beautiful monument with a storied history. Over the centuries it has been a cathedral, a mosque, and a museum. When you stand inside, you see Arabic calligraphy alongside Christian relics. From afar you see its minarets surrounding a Byzantine church. While each visitor identifies in her own way with the Hagia Sophia, it gives everyone a sense of wonder.   

For me, the month of Ramadan is similar. It’s a month when Muslims take time to reflect on their own paths of personal and spiritual growth. While this experience is unique to each individual, the act of giving back to one’s community is shared by Muslims the world over. In Turkey there is an expression: “We are created equally, but our lots in life are given differently.” During Ramadan, Muslims from all walks of life help those in their own communities who are less fortunate.

In this spirit, I want to share the story of Russell Khan, the co-founder of Honest Chops, an organic butcher shop in New York. Honest Chops, like countless other Muslim-owned businesses this Ramadan, is giving back to its community by donating 10,000 pounds of meat to local nonprofits. Particularly heartwarming for me is that Google’s free online business listing—which allowed Honest Chops to be found on Search and Maps—helped Russell grow his business and his impact.

I’m proud that Google played a role in helping Russell grow his business. Digital skills—social media, building a website or putting a business on the map—empower people to bring their ideas to life in and for their communities. That’s why Google provides digital skills training in countries around the world. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, where I work, we’ve trained 5 million people in digital skills since 2014, and 40 percent of those participants are women. Think of how many people could benefit from a Russell in their community. You can learn more about getting your business online at g.co/GetYourBusinessOnline.

As the month of Ramadan comes to an end, I encourage us all to reflect on the meaning of community. The values of this holiday transcend all religions and cultures, and I hope they inspire you as much as they inspire me—and Russell.

Ramazan'ınız mübarek olsun. Happy Ramadan!

(image) Charity is core to the spirit of Ramadan. Today, as the month-long holiday comes to a close, we‘re proud to recognize the businesses that are making a positive impact in their communities.


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The world as you see it with VR180The world as you see it with VR180Product Manager, VR

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:15:00 +0000

Virtual reality helps creators bring their audiences to new, amazing, and even impossible-to-visit places. As a viewer, you get a whole new angle on shows, sports, and concerts you care about. You can walk around the Eiffel Tower, dive to the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef, or get a new perspective by meeting people face-to-face in a way that isn’t possible with a flat view of the world.

We know that virtual reality videos can be really powerful, which is why we have invested in supporting 360 and VR formats for over two years. And today, VR video is the most popular way to experience VR. But, we’ve heard from creators and viewers who want to make and see even more immersive videos on YouTube. So, we’ve been working with Google’s Daydream team on a brand new video format, called VR180, that we believe will make VR content even easier to create.

VR180 videos focus on what’s in front of you, are high resolution, and look great on desktop and on mobile. They transition seamlessly to a VR experience when viewed with Cardboard, Daydream, and PSVR, which allow you to view the images stereoscopically in 3-D, where near things look near, and far things appear far. VR180 also supports livestreaming videos so creators and fans can be together in real time.

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For creators, you’ll be able to set up and film your videos the way you normally would with any other camera. And, soon, you’ll be able to edit using familiar tools like Adobe Premiere Pro. From vlogs, to makeup tutorials to music videos - your videos will work great in VR.

But supporting the format is just the beginning. We want to make cameras that are easy to work with too. The Daydream team is working with several manufacturers to build cameras from the ground up for VR180. These cameras are not only great for creators looking to easily make VR content, but also anyone who wants to capture life’s highlights in VR. They will be as easy to use as point-and-shoot cameras, for around the same price. Videos and livestreams will be easy to upload to YouTube. Cameras from YI, Lenovo, and LG are on the way, and the first ones will hit shelves this winter. For other manufacturers, we’re opening up a VR180 certification program and Z CAM will be one of our first partners. Learn more and sign up for updates at vr.google.com/vr180. If you can’t wait to try these out, eligible creators can apply to loan a VR180-enabled camera from one of our YouTube Spaces around the globe.

VR180 will unlock opportunities for anyone looking to easily make VR memories. We're just starting to scratch the surface of what is possible and look forward to seeing your new videos!

(image) Introducing VR180, a new video format for creating high-quality, immersive videos that everyone can watch.


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Start off your summer with #teampixelStart off your summer with #teampixelEditor-in-Chief

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Need a fresh perspective? It’s all yours, courtesy of #teampixel. From a Buddhist monastery in Russia to a picturesque lighthouse in North Carolina, to the best swing set … ever, here’s your weekly look at some of the “Pixel perfect” images shared by Pixel users on Instagram. Left: @ahwagner - Lines on lines in Bodie Island, NC. Right: @alasdairwillson - Ivolginsk Datsan monastery, Russia Left: @glitchlov3 - A patch of blue in St. Petersburg, Russia. Right: @heydavina - Stopping for lunch in Manhattan, NY @canvasoul - Silhouettes against the sky Left: @mrtroiano - Puffins in the Faroe Islands. Right: @monp54 - Making friends in Fairy Glen, Scotland Left: @michilyons - Summer = sparklers, in Maplewood, NJ. Right: @randomitguylv - Montana Redonda, Dominican Republic Left: @oliverbock - Liverpool, meet reflecting pool. Right: @willfungus - A dizzying staircase at Nagoya Castle, Japan If you’ve got a Pixel, share your photos with #teampixel—we might feature them on Keyword and Instagram.[...]This week’s “Pixel perfect” photographs, shared by Pixel users from around the world.


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Digital security and due process: A new legal framework for the cloud eraDigital security and due process: A new legal framework for the cloud eraSVP & General Counsel

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 09:00:00 +0000

Editor’s note: This is an abbreviated version of a speech Kent delivered today at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C.For as long as we’ve had legal systems, prosecutors and police have needed to gather evidence. And for each new advance in communications, law enforcement has adapted. With the advent of the post office, police got warrants to search letters and packages. With the arrival of telephones, police served subpoenas for the call logs of suspects. Digital communications have now gone well beyond the Postal Service and Ma Bell. But the laws that govern evidence-gathering on the internet were written before the Information Revolution, and are now both hindering the flow of information to law enforcement and jeopardizing user privacy as a result.These rules are due for a fundamental realignment in light of the rapid growth of technology that relies on the cloud, the very real security threats that face people and communities, and the expectations of privacy that internet users have in their communications.Today, we’re proposing a new framework that allows countries that commit to baseline privacy, human rights, and due process principles to gather evidence more quickly and efficiently. We believe these reforms would not only help law enforcement conduct more effective investigations but also encourage countries to improve and align on privacy and due process standards. Further, reducing the amount of time countries have to wait to gather evidence means would reduce the pressure to pursue more problematic ways of trying to gather data.Current laws hinder law enforcement and user privacyThe U.S. Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) governs requests for content from law enforcement. Under ECPA, foreign countries largely have to rely on diplomatic mechanisms such as Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties (MLAT) to obtain content that is held by a company in the United States. The last data we’ve seen suggests that the average wait to receive content through the MLAT process is 10 months, far too long for most criminal cases. While law enforcement waits for this data, crimes could remain unsolved or a trial might happen missing key evidence.The current legal framework poses a threat to users’ privacy as well. Faced with the extended delays under the MLAT process, some countries are now asserting that their laws apply to companies and individuals outside of their borders. Countries asserting extraterritorial authority potentially put companies in an untenable situation where we risk violating either the law of the requesting country or the law of the country where we are headquartered.We are also seeing various proposals to require companies to store data within local borders as a means to gain easier access. There are a host of problems with this: small, one-off data centers are easier targets for attackers and jeopardize data security and privacy. Further, requiring businesses to build these data-centers will raise the costs for cloud services, erecting significant barriers for smaller companies.The legal ambiguity concerning cross-border law enforcement requests has also created complications for law enforcement in the United States. Last year, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to determine the reach of ECPA search warrants issued under the now out-of-date statute. The Court ruled that under existing law, an ECPA search warrant cannot be used to compel service providers to disclose user data that is stored outside of the U.S. But even those judges agreed that ECPA should be updated by Congress to reflect the new reality of today’s global networks.Principles for reformOur proposal to address these challenges for domestic and international law enforcement, for companies, and for users has two core principles:First, countries that honor baseline principles of privacy, human rights, and due process should be able to make direct [...]


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Namaste from your Google AssistantNamaste from your Google AssistantThe Google Assistant Team

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 19:00:00 +0000

Ommmmmm, it's International Yoga Day. While your Assistant might not be able to do an Eagle Pose, it can help you relax, learn about yoga poses and be the calming presence you’ve been looking for.

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  • If you’re an aspiring yogi, the first step is getting on the mat. Ask your Assistant on Google Home to “Add yoga mat to my shopping list.” 
  • Once you've got your mat, you can ask your Assistant on phones, “What’s a downward-facing dog pose?” or ““Show me videos of a downward-facing dog pose.”
  • Looking to set the mood? Ask your Assistant on Google Home to “Turn the temperature to 80 degrees,” or “Dim the lights,” when you’re ready for Savasana. 
  • Interested in learning about the history of yoga? Ask your Assistant on Google Home “How did yoga start?” or “What does yoga mean?”
  • Or maybe you want to meet other like-minded yogis: Ask your Assistant on phones to “Find yoga classes near me.”

For the love of yoga and whatever else makes you happy, go out there and find your zen! Namaste.

(image) Today is International Yoga Day and while your Assistant might not be able to do an Eagle Pose, it can help you relax, learn and be the calming presence you’ve been looking for.


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Celebrating 10 years of GoogleServeCelebrating 10 years of GoogleServeProgram Manager

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

Every June, we celebrate GoogleServe—a month-long campaign to empower Googlers to volunteer in their communities. Googlers have clocked more than 200,000 hours during GoogleServe since it first began in 2007, and the program has inspired a culture of giving and volunteering all year long. As we celebrate our 10th annual GoogleServe, we’re talking with Seth Marbin, the Googler who first came up with the idea. Keyword: How did the idea for GoogleServe come about?Seth: I joined the Search Quality team at Google 11 years ago. I was inspired by the company’s culture, social mission, and the belief that any employee could dream up the next big idea. In 2007, our VP of Culture Stacy Sullivan asked Googlers for ideas on how to maintain our unique culture while the company doubled in size. My work with AmeriCorps and City Year taught me that volunteering can bring people together and break down social barriers, so I proposed a global day of community service (which I called Google-palooza!). Googlers jumped on board immediately, and 3,000 Googlers from 45 offices participated in our first GoogleServe. How has GoogleServe changed over the years?Well, for starters, it’s a lot bigger! And it’s inspired Googlers to serve beyond the month of June. Googlers now volunteer a quarter of a million hours each year outside GoogleServe, through Google.org programs.We still provide hands-on help to schools, soup kitchens and homeless shelters, but we’ve evolved GoogleServe to connect Googlers’ professional expertise to nonprofit and community needs. For example, software engineers participate in hackathons, and our recruitment and staffing teams review resumes and conduct interview skills trainings for people who are unemployed or underemployed. There are 20,000 Googlers volunteering this month. How do you pull off such a massive undertaking?We work with great partners who ensure that our volunteers have meaningful experiences. For example, HandsOn Bay Area—which helps Googlers find volunteer opportunities—has been a fantastic and committed partner from the beginning. When we came to them in 2012 with 5,500 Google volunteers, we maxed out their capacity to help. They didn’t have the infrastructure to deal with a group of our size, but over time they adjusted and scaled their model so that they could continue working with us. It’s been such a pleasure to watch their evolution, because we wouldn’t be able to run GoogleServe without them. Our partnership was even written about as a case study for Harvard Business School. What have been your favorite projects over the years?My favorite projects tap into Googler expertise, align with our company values—like supporting women in tech—and have a lasting impact. U.S. Googlers have volunteered with schools and nonprofits to host Made with Code events, inspiring thousands of girls to consider careers in computer science. In two days of coding, 10 Googlers helped the OpenAustralia Foundation give two million people access to Planning Alerts, which notify residents about local construction and demolition projects. And a team of Googlers in our Seattle office helped launch a mobile app to enable RealChange homeless newspaper vendors to accept digital payments. How has GoogleServe impacted Googlers?I’ve found that many Googlers start out with one GoogleServe project and then discover a deeper passion for serving the community. Rebecca Howarth, who helps lead GoogleServe in the Bay Area, told me it’s the single most important part of her career at Google—and it’s not even her “real job.”For some Googlers, the impact has been so great that they’ve committed their careers to community service. In 2012 Megan Wheeler joined our team as a 20 percenter (Googlers can dedicate 20 percent of their time, outside of their day job, on projects that they’re passio[...]


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The SAP-Google data custodian partnershipThe SAP-Google data custodian partnershipCloud Security Engineering Director

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

In March of this year, SAP and Google partnered to advance innovation, agility and global reach for enterprises adopting the public cloud. As part of our collaborative development and solutions integration, we are working on a data custodian model that allows customers with specific needs to manage sensitive data on a public cloud platform.

To fully benefit from cloud computing, enterprises need to store and process their sensitive data on public cloud platforms, while complying with regulations and managing unauthorized access risks. Enterprises often need to address these requirements as part of a broader governance, risk and compliance solution for the public cloud. 

The data custodian model

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) already offers robust security capabilities and extensive compliance with public cloud security and privacy standards. To further increase customer trust, the data custodian model allows SAP, a trusted enterprise solution provider, to act as the custodian of the customer’s data on GCP. This provides greater transparency and separation of controls.

With the data custodian model, we envision enterprises defining a set of controls about how they want to handle their data on GCP, then relying on SAP, as the data custodian, to continuously monitor compliance to these controls and manage exceptions as needed. A current focus is on data access transparency for GCP services that store or process customer data. In the coming months, SAP and Google will continue to work together to enable custodian oversight and control over handling customer data on GCP. 

What are the benefits for customers?

Enterprises can benefit from the data custodian model in several ways. They can leverage SAP’s deep knowledge of GCP’s security approach, controls and workflows instead of building that expertise in-house. With SAP as a data custodian, customers have additional confidence that their data is accessed and stored in compliance with their defined data sovereignty, privacy and protection policies.

In addition, with this partnership, SAP and Google are extending and integrating their product portfolios, including GCP and G Suite to provide even greater value to customers. Look to SAP and Google to continue to collaborate on solutions like the data custodian model to enable the next generation of digital services.

(image) Together, SAP and Google are working on a data custodian model that allows customers with specific needs to manage sensitive data on a public cloud platform.


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How The New York Times used the Google Sheets API to report congressional votes in real timeHow The New York Times used the Google Sheets API to report congressional votes in real timeG Suite Blog Editor

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:00:00 +0000

There’s a common phrase among reporters: “The news never sleeps.” This is why many news outlets rely on cloud-based productivity tools like Google Docs and Sheets to share information, check facts and collaborate in real time. And The New York Times is no exception.In May 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a new health care law affecting millions of Americans. To report the news as fast as possible, The Times’ editorial team used Sheets to tally and display House votes in real time on NYTimes.com.Engaging voters with the Sheets API “People want to feel connected to the decisions their legislators make as soon as they make them,” said Tom Giratikanon,  a graphics editor at The Times. But rules in the House chamber make reporting on how every representative votes in real time difficult. Photography is restricted on the assembly floor, and there is a delay until all votes are displayed on the House website—a process that can sometimes take up to an hour.To get around this lag, Giratikanon’s team used the Google Sheets API. The editorial team dispatched reporters to the chamber where they entered votes into a Google Sheet as they were shown on the vote boards. The sheet then auto-populated NYTimes.com using the Sheets API integration.Says Giratikanon: “It’s easy to feel like decisions are veiled in the political process. Technology is a powerful way to bridge that gap. Sharing news immediately empowers our readers.” It’s easy to feel like decisions are veiled in the political process. Technology is a powerful way to bridge that gap. Tom Giratikanon Graphics Editor, The New York Times How it workedTo prep, Giratikanon tested the Sheets integration ahead of the House vote. He created a sheet listing the names of legislators in advance, so his team could avoid typos when entering data on the day of the vote. Next, he set up the Sheet to include qualifiers. A simple “Y” or “N” indicated “yes” and “no” votes.After a few practice rounds, Giratikanon’s team realized they could add even more qualifiers to better inform readers–like flagging outlier votes and reporting on votes by party (i.e., Democrats vs. Republicans). The editorial team researched how each of the 431 legislators were expected to vote in advance. They created a rule in Sheets to automatically highlight surprises. If a legislator went against the grain, the sheet highlighted the cell in yellow and the editorial team fact-checked the original vote to reflect this in the article. Giratikanon also set up a rule to note votes by party.As a result, The Times, which has roughly 2 million digital-only subscribers, beat the House website, reporting the new healthcare bill results and informing readers who were eager to follow how their legislator voted.  Try G Suite APIs today You can use Sheets and other G Suite products to help speed up real-time reporting, no matter the industry. Get started using the Sheets API today or check out other G Suite APIs, like the Slides API, Gmail API or Calendar API.[...]


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Call it even with Project Fi’s group repayCall it even with Project Fi’s group repayProduct Manager, Project Fi

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 17:00:00 +0000

More than 75% of adults share their wireless plans with at least one other person.1 And while it’s nice to share a plan with the people you love, splitting the bill can be tough. It takes work to calculate how much each person owes and can feel awkward to remind others to pay you back.To take the headache out of sharing your wireless plan, today we’re introducing group repay—an easier way to split your Project Fi group plan bill. Each month, we’ll calculate participating members’ portion of the bill, send out payment reminders, and provide a simple way for members to repay plan owners directly through Project Fi. Know what you owe—no math required You shouldn’t have to pull out a calculator every month to figure out everyone’s share of the phone bill. There are many different ways to split the bill, but whatever you decide, Project Fi will do the math. Once you’ve selected the option that works best for you, Project Fi will automatically calculate the correct amount. Easy setup, reminders, and payments Any Project Fi plan owner or member can set up monthly repayment reminders with group repay. If you’re a plan owner, simply select a repayment amount for each member. When it’s time to pay the bill, Project Fi will send repayment notifications to group plan members.Thanks to an integration with Google Wallet, sending and receiving payments is just as simple. Plan members can simply tap the notification and hit “Send Money” to complete the request. Owners can even cash out repayments automatically to a debit card or checking account. One simple place to view, manage, and track payments We know it’s hard to manage all of your monthly bills, so we’ll help you track your Project Fi payment history. With group repay, you can easily view your full payment history and payment statuses for the current month. Getting started with group repay is easy. If you are currently on a Project Fi group plan, simply navigate to your account billing section to manage your settings. We're beginning to roll out this feature today, and it will be available to all Project Fi users by the end of the week.Finally, for a limited time, when Project Fi plan owners add a new member to their group plan, both will receive a free month of Fi Basics. For more details, see our FAQ.(1) Source: Google Consumer Survey, U.S. smartphone owners, May 2017 (n=500)[...]Group repay from Project Fi makes sharing a wireless plan easier than ever.


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How to use BeyondCorp to ditch your VPN, improve security and go to the cloudHow to use BeyondCorp to ditch your VPN, improve security and go to the cloudTechnical Director

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:00:00 +0000

The BeyondCorp security engineering team at Google just announced their fourth research paper: Migrating to BeyondCorp: Maintaining Productivity While Improving Security.For those that aren’t familiar with it, BeyondCorp is a security approach used by Google that allows employees to work from anywhere, quickly and easily.This is easier said than done. In 2010, we undertook a massive project to rethink how to provide employees with secure remote access to applications: We moved away from our corporate VPN, and introduced BeyondCorp, a zero-trust network security model. With BeyondCorp, we no longer have a binary access model, where you are either inside the whole corporate network, with all the access that allows, or outside and completely locked out of applications. Our new approach provides a better, more convenient, and less risky way: access to individual services as you need them, based on who you are and what machine you're using.While BeyondCorp makes applications easily accessible from anywhere, it also improves security in other ways. Over the course of the migration we’ve discovered services that we thought were long dead, because this change required taking a detailed look at our traffic, our dependencies and our employee usage patterns. It’s also allowed us to scale globally while reducing our attack surface, and increased our ability to provide access when appropriate. This March, we began offering elements of BeyondCorp to other organizations, in the form of Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy (IAP). Already, Cloud IAP has helped Google Cloud customers put fine-grained access controls on their critical internal services and applications based on region, time, role or group. More importantly, Cloud IAP removes obstacles to getting work done. Authorized employees get in, wherever they are, and do their job, or Cloud IAP blocks them, because they aren’t supposed to have access. BeyondCorp: a work in progressAt Google, we’ve been on our BeyondCorp journey for several years, gradually shifting more of our traffic and services away from a segmented, privileged corporate network and onto the public internet and cloud. You may be wondering how to move to a similar model. What do you need to do? What's the potential impact on your company and your employees?  The latest installment of our research paper describes how we kept people productive at Google while shifting our security model. It covers:The process of migrating individuals to our non-privileged networkHow we supported the effort through our TechStop infrastructure (local and remote service desks)How to handle edge casesDiagnostic tools to troubleshoot access denialsThe importance of self-service documentationWhy to run a publicity campaign about the project. In the end, we moved to this new system successfully by breaking up the work into discrete chunks, parallelizing as much as possible, and focusing on the end-user experience. To learn more about the BeyondCorp approach and determine whether it’s the right fit for your business, read all four public research papers:BeyondCorp: A New Approach to Enterprise Security BeyondCorp: Design to Deployment at GoogleBeyond Corp: The Access Proxy Migrating to BeyondCorp: Maintaining Productivity While Improving SecurityAnd to discuss whether BeyondCorp and Cloud Identity-Aware Proxy are right for your business, give us a shout—we’d love to hear from you.[...]The BeyondCorp security engineering team at Google just announced their fourth research paper.


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Standing with refugees and nonprofits that serve them on World Refugee DayStanding with refugees and nonprofits that serve them on World Refugee DayProgram Manager

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:15:00 +0000

The Syrian civil war has created the biggest humanitarian crisis in our lifetime. More than 5 million people have been forced to leave behind family, possessions, school and work—basically their entire lives. But Syrians aren’t alone in fleeing violence and persecution. Global displacement is at an all-time high, and refugees from Somalia, Afghanistan, and other countries affected by conflict and violence are seeking sanctuary throughout the Middle East, Northern Africa, Europe and other parts of the world.Since September 2015, we’ve been working with humanitarian organizations to respond to the refugee crisis. These organizations are experts in the field, and have told us where Google can fill a gap—with funding, technology or expertise. We’ve donated more than $20 million in Google.org grants to nonprofits, providing more than 800,000 refugees access to the internet, vital information and educational resources. On World Refugee Day, we want to share an update on a few of our ongoing initiatives.From the start, our nonprofit grantees told us that connectivity and information are essential forms of aid. One of our early efforts was to help refugees and first responders in Greece get internet access. We provided a grant and a dozen Googler volunteers to NetHope, which has enabled them to install free Wi-Fi in 76 refugee camps. As a result, hundreds of thousands of refugees have been able to communicate with their loved ones through text and voice messages. NetHope: Providing Internet access to refugees We learned from the International Rescue Committee that clear and timely information is critical in a time of crisis. To help nonprofits quickly disseminate trustworthy information, we helped build Refugee.Info with IRC and Mercy Corps. Featuring information about the asylum process, translation tools and maps, the platform has become a vital resource for refugees in Greece and the Balkans. With the assistance of a new $1 million Google.org grant and technical volunteers from Google, IRC is now expanding the app to serve refugees in the Middle East. Refugee.Info Hub: Providing vital information to refugees The refugee journey is not only dangerous, but also long and frustrating; it interrupts careers, educations and dreams indefinitely. So a big focus of our support is on nonprofits that provide refugees access to educational resources while they’re in camps and once they’ve been resettled. We awarded a grant of $3 million grant to Queen Rania Foundation to help develop an online platform that provides access to educational resources for Arabic-speaking students and teachers across the Middle East and North Africa. And in Germany, libraries and nonprofits like AsylPlus are using Chromebooks from Project Reconnect to offer language learning and job-placement programs to more than 150,000 refugees to help them integrate into their new communities.   [...]


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Connecting more Americans with jobsConnecting more Americans with jobsProduct Manager

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 07:05:00 +0000

Whether you’re a student looking for a part-time job, an electrician seeking work closer to home, or a teacher moving to another state to be close to family, finding a job can be difficult. With job postings scattered across the web, newspapers and help wanted signs, it’s not always easy to find ones that are a good fit based on your unique needs and skills. As a result, many job seekers feel like they can’t find the job they’re looking for or apply to roles that aren’t the right fit. At the same time, 46 percent of U.S. employers face talent shortages and have issues filling open positions with the right candidate. We have a long history of using our technology to connect people with crucial information. At I/O, we announced Google for Jobs, a company-wide initiative focused on helping both job seekers and employers, through deep collaboration with the job matching industry. This effort includes the Cloud Jobs API, announced last year, which provides access to Google’s machine learning capabilities to power smarter job search and recommendations within career sites, jobs boards, and other job matching sites and apps. Today, we’re taking the next step in the Google for Jobs initiative by putting the convenience and power of Search into the hands of job seekers. With this new experience, we aim to connect Americans to job opportunities across the U.S., so no matter who you are or what kind of job you’re looking for, you can find job postings that match your needs. Starting today in English on desktop and mobile, when you search for “jobs near me,” “teaching jobs,” or similar job-seeking queries, you’ll see in-depth results that allow you to explore jobs from across the web. For many people, a job needs to satisfy some key criteria, like commute time, job specialties they've honed or the hours they have available to work. For many jobs, you’ll also see reviews and ratings of the employer from trusted sites, right alongside the job description, and if you’re signed in, for some jobs you’ll even see how long it would take to commute to the job from home. We’ll continue to add additional filters and information in the future. Looking for jobs is a personal and complex journey, and one that we’re trying to support in this new search experience. Searching for a job can take time. And keeping up with new jobs that are posted throughout the day can be impossible. Now, if you step away from your job search, you can pick up right where you left off and stay in the loop on opportunities that interest you. Just turn on alerts for your search to receive an email notification whenever new jobs arrive, keeping you up-to-date and on top of your job hunt. We’re working with a number of organizations from across the industry to bring you the most comprehensive listing of jobs—including LinkedIn, Monster, WayUp, DirectEmployers, CareerBuilder, Glassdoor and Facebook. This means you’ll see job postings from these sites and many others from across the web as soon as they’re posted. To ensure even more jobs are listed over time, we’re publishing open documentation for all jobs providers, from third-party platforms or direct employers, big or small, detailing how to make their job openings discoverable in this new feature. People from all walks of life, experiences and backgrounds have undergone a job hunt at some point in their lives. Whether you’[...]


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Track projects with G Suite and AsanaTrack projects with G Suite and AsanaPartner Marketing Manager, Google Cloud

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 19:00:00 +0000

Technology has transformed the way businesses operate—your teams likely do not look like they did 10 years ago. Now, companies rely on a mobile workforce and require productivity tools to help them collaborate no matter the location, and more importantly, without holding up work.

Businesses are using Asana  and G Suite to collaborate and manage projects from start to finish. Asana is a project management tool that helps teams plan, manage and track work, and is a part of the Recommended for G Suite program. With these two tools, your organization can:

  • Create tasks in Asana directly from Gmail
  • Add files directly from Google Drive to tasks in Asana
  • Keep track of deadlines by syncing your tasks in Asana with Google Calendar
  • Build custom reports in Google Sheets to analyze project data in Asana

How OutSystems uses G Suite and Asana to drive marketing launches

OutSystems is a low-code application platform that uses Asana and G Suite to manage digital marketing and advertising projects to reach its more than 7 million users. With 30 marketers across the globe, it’s important that OutSystems uses tools to streamline reviews and track project status. 

With more than 90,000 apps built on their platform, OutSystems relies on Asana to prioritize projects and create templates for marketing launches. G Suite apps are built in, which means OutSystems employees can access their favorite productivity tools, like Google Drive, Docs and Sheets, in one place. 

Teams use Drive to attach files to tasks in Asana, Docs to edit web content, and Sheets to analyze project data. OutSystems marketers also work with external freelancers, and G Suite’s permission sharing settings make it easy to protect proprietary information.

You can get started using Asana and G Suite at your business. Sign up for this free webinar on Tuesday, June 27, 2017 at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET.

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Remembering Stonewall, 1969Remembering Stonewall, 1969Head of External Affairs for New York and California

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 18:30:00 +0000

The park is not a big one. It’s a few thousand square-foot triangle in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, populated by a handful of trees and benches. Looking at it, you wouldn’t know that one night in June 1969, it hosted a crucial turning point in LGBTQ history. Across the street at the Stonewall Inn, a neighborhood gay bar, police broke down the door intending to haul the patrons off for a night in jail. Bar-goers resisted and a riot broke out in the park—it lasted several days and sparked what many recognize as the start of the modern day LGBTQ rights movement.

Google was founded on the idea that bringing more information to more people improves lives on a vast scale. The preservation of history is an essential way to make sure information lives on and reaches everyone. The Stonewall Riots were important to the ongoing road to civil rights for LGBT communities around the world — and their message is as resonant and necessary today as it was back then. To help preserve and amplify the story of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, Google.org is giving a $1 million grant to the LGBT Community Center of New York City.

The Center, in collaboration with the National Park Foundation, will use this grant to continue its work with the National Park Service, extending the reach of Stonewall National Monument beyond its physical location. Ahead of 2019, which will mark the 50th anniversary of the uprising, the Center will record the stories of those who raised their voices at Stonewall and the many others who were inspired by their brave defiance. These are the stories of transgender women of color who fought back; of queer youth, many of whom were homeless, who bravely refused to be silenced; of the poorest of the LGBTQ community. Those stories will be built into a digital memorial experience available to anyone who visits the park—both in person and online. The funding will also support the building of a curriculum on LGBTQ civil rights to be used in classrooms nationwide.

Google.org has provided grants and funding to groups across the world that challenge bias and exclusion by helping to share the stories and history of marginalized groups, from the Equal Justice Initiative to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. We are glad to continue that work today with the support of organizations like the LGBT Center, who provide so much to their community.

Remembering the people who spoke out against injustice, who fought for the basic right to "be," is key to our universal quest for human rights. By remembering those who came before us, and all we have accomplished since, we ensure that their actions were not in vain. We hope that sharing these stories will help to empower and inspire us all to action.

(image) To help preserve and amplify the story of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising, Google.org is giving a $1 million grant to the LGBT Community Center of New York City.


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Four steps we’re taking today to fight terrorism onlineFour steps we’re taking today to fight terrorism onlineGeneral Counsel

Sun, 18 Jun 2017 17:00:00 +0000

Editor’s Note: This post appeared as an op-ed in the Financial Times earlier today. Terrorism is an attack on open societies, and addressing the threat posed by violence and hate is a critical challenge for us all. Google and YouTube are committed to being part of the solution. We are working with government, law enforcement and civil society groups to tackle the problem of violent extremism online. There should be no place for terrorist content on our services.While we and others have worked for years to identify and remove content that violates our policies, the uncomfortable truth is that we, as an industry, must acknowledge that more needs to be done. Now.We have thousands of people around the world who review and counter abuse of our platforms. Our engineers have developed technology to prevent re-uploads of known terrorist content using image-matching technology. We have invested in systems that use content-based signals to help identify new videos for removal. And we have developed partnerships with expert groups, counter-extremism agencies, and the other technology companies to help inform and strengthen our efforts.Today, we are pledging to take four additional steps.First, we are increasing our use of technology to help identify extremist and terrorism-related videos. This can be challenging: a video of a terrorist attack may be informative news reporting if broadcast by the BBC, or glorification of violence if uploaded in a different context by a different user. We have used video analysis models to find and assess more than 50 per cent of the terrorism-related content we have removed over the past six months. We will now devote more engineering resources to apply our most advanced machine learning research to train new “content classifiers” to help us more quickly identify and remove extremist and terrorism-related content.Second, because technology alone is not a silver bullet, we will greatly increase the number of independent experts in YouTube’s Trusted Flagger programme. Machines can help identify problematic videos, but human experts still play a role in nuanced decisions about the line between violent propaganda and religious or newsworthy speech. While many user flags can be inaccurate, Trusted Flagger reports are accurate over 90 per cent of the time and help us scale our efforts and identify emerging areas of concern. We will expand this programme by adding 50 expert NGOs to the 63 organisations who are already part of the programme, and we will support them with operational grants. This allows us to benefit from the expertise of specialised organisations working on issues like hate speech, self-harm, and terrorism. We will also expand our work with counter-extremist groups to help identify content that may be being used to radicalise and recruit extremists.Third, we will be taking a tougher stance on videos that do not clearly violate our policies — for example, videos that contain inflammatory religious or supremacist content. In future these will appear behind an interstitial warning and they will not be monetised, recommended or eligible for comments or user endorsements. That means these videos will have less engagement and be harder to find. We think this strikes the right balance between free expression and access to information without promoting extremely offensive viewpoints.Finally, YouTube will expand its role in counter-radicalisation efforts. Building on our successful Creators for Change programme promoting YouTube voices against hate and radicalisation, we are working with Jigsaw to implement the “Redirect Method”[...]


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Making time for change: Indonesian watchmaker’s risk pays offMaking time for change: Indonesian watchmaker’s risk pays off

Sat, 17 Jun 2017 03:00:00 +0000

Editor’s note: As part of our series of interviews with entrepreneurs across Asia Pacific who use the internet to grow their business, we caught up with Lucky D. Aria, the founder of Matoa, to find out how he went from working in a cookie factory to starting his own watchmaking enterprise. Matoa now exports their watches made from reclaimed wood to Europe, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and the U.S. Founder and CEO Lucky D. Aria at the Matoa workshop in Bandung, Indonesia Tell us about your journey to becoming an entrepreneur.Seven years ago, I was a high school graduate working at a small cookie company in Bandung. At the time I had a monthly salary of $75. I would get an extra commission during Hari Raya (Ramadan) and that was the only money I could save. It was tough to make ends meet, so I knew that something had to change. Starting my own company was a risky decision, and everyone advised against leaving a stable job. But I knew I had to take a risk and make a change. How did you manage to successfully launch Matoa?I reverse-engineered what others often do: I didn’t want to sell what I made, instead I wanted to make what people would buy. After a lot of research, I saw there was a niche for specialty watches. I started learning about consumer preferences and what they need and want before designing the end product. I had to borrow capital from family and friends because my family couldn’t secure a bank loan since we had nothing to offer as collateral. But that didn’t deter me. I was so happy when I sold my very first watch at a local exhibition in 2011, one year after leaving the cookie factory. And we grew from there. How have the internet and Google’s tools helped transformed your business?Last year, exports of Matoa watches made up a third of our sales, so about 3,500 units in total. The internet has changed our lives and how we do business. Now, I can sell my products in every corner of the world using the internet. I have many distributors outside of Indonesia, whom I have not had the chance to meet face-to-face, but we can develop our partnership because we’re online. I truly believe every company can use the Internet to grow their business.Google AdWords increased my local sales in Indonesia by 160% year-on-year from 2015 to 2016. Prior to AdWords, I faced difficulty in expanding my business—even in Indonesia. Bringing our products to consumers would have required us to set up physical storefronts in every city in Indonesia and this would have been extremely expensive.What inspires you to continue to grow as an entrepreneur and business owner?My family’s economic conditions have improved a lot. I own my own house now. I have grown a lot personally. Now I focus on spreading this welfare to my 40 employees, many of whom rely on this company for their livelihood. I can’t afford to disappoint them, and I want to help them grow so one day they can start their own business doing something they are passionate about. The Matoa team What’s your advice to other entrepreneurs?If you want to sustain your business, make sure you don’t create a product and push it to the market without first asking “why?”. Ask yourself, “why would consumers want to buy our products?” If you don’t have a g[...]


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Make the most of Father’s Day with a little help from your AssistantMake the most of Father’s Day with a little help from your AssistantThe Google Assistant Team

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 19:00:00 +0000

This Sunday is Father’s Day—a day to surprise and spoil our favorite dads. With a little help from your friendly Assistant, you can plan the perfect day, share some stories and more.

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  • One up your dad with your own dad jokes. Just ask your Assistant on phones to “tell me a joke.” You can even ask to “talk to Best Dad Jokes” to hear more!
  • Start a chat with your siblings in Google Allo and ask the Assistant for help planning the day, whether it’s finding  “best golf courses nearby” or “current movies in the theater.” 
  • Bust out old photos of your dad (perhaps he went through a bell bottoms and perm phase?) by asking your Assistant on phones to “show me photos of Dad.”
  • Get inspired by stories about dads from dads. Ask your Assistant on Android phones for “stories about fatherhood” to hear dads tell their tales at StoryCorps.
  • Most importantly, don’t forget! Tell your Assistant on your phone to “remind me to call dad on Sunday.” 

Happy Father’s Day!

(image) Sunday is Father’s Day and with a little help from your friendly Assistant, you can plan the perfect day, share some stories and more.


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